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    News — behind the scenes

    How we make our climbing tees

    How we make our climbing tees

    As our tagline goes, we're Made by climbers for climbers

    And, sure, it may sound a little catchy, but here's what's really up:

    The "made by climbers" part

    When my husband and I started Gneiss Apparel in our little cabin in the woods, our whole goal was to create something we wanted but couldn't really find: climbing-inspired apparel that we'd want to wear all the time. Sure there's great branded stuff from all the big outdoor brands. But we were looking for something that spoke more to rock climbing the way we experienced it – the places, adventures and stories that really meant "climbing" to us.

    Ambassador Kayleen wearing one of our favorite designs: the Run It Out tee

    Our climbing style

    We've been climbing for about 8 years now (our story's here) and love everything from gym climbing to getting outside and sport climbing or trad climbing. Every spare minute we can find is spent outside. And while we spend a lot of that time at crags, one of the things we really love to do when we get the chance is to comb Google Earth for rocks that look climbable and then just set out to see what we can find! We come back totally worn out but, in a weird way, refreshed. There's nothing like a little adventure to keep ya inspired.

    One of our Google Earth-inspired adventures

    Our designs

    Being graphic designers, it's probably not shocking that designing our products is one of our favorite aspects of the business. Inspiration comes from everywhere – everything from climbing history to our own random experiences – and many a road trip has been spent hashing out new ideas.

    Bringing those ideas to life is what's really exciting, though. We spend a lot of time perfecting the designs on the computer (putting my education to good use, mom!), and then we dive into finding the perfect color combination to finish it off.

    How could you not have a nice day in one of these happy hats?




    The "made for climbers" thing

    We're lucky to have an amazing shop in Denver that prints our tees. With each design, they work with us to get the softest possible print so that our shirts are never heavy or constricting like some can be.

    It's always been important to us that our shirts be soft and comfortable to move in so that you don't even think about them while you're climbing (except maybe for the selfie at the top, haha). This is why we've chosen polyester blends for our tees and tanks whenever possible, too, so they're breathable, stay cool, and move with you as you climb.

    soft-breathable-rock-climbing-shirtsOur focus has always been on making our products as comfortable and breathable as possible. Climb on...and on!

    Matt, another awesome ambassador, putting our Conquistadors tee to the test.

    But as fun as it is to create our products, it's been way more rewarding to hear the stories our customers have in relation to them – we've heard so many epic tales of climbs in The Black, for instance! And, really, nothing beats seeing pictures of our products mid-adventure. We still get pretty geeked when we see our product on real live people, haha, but seeing them out in the wild is a whole different kind of thrill.

    A big thanks to @tnobleman for this pic wearing the Colorado Crags tee in the Black Canyon.

    And we love this shot of Zen (in the Run It Out tee) and Lisa hanging out on the top of Father Dyer Peak.

    We'd be nothing without customers like you and want to say a huge thanks – for your orders and stories alike. They're what keep us going!

    Amanda (+ Jack)


    The adventure begins!

    Hey there! We’re starting this blog as a way of officially setting off on this crazy adventure together. It all started in a cabin in the woods as a random idea and has grown into one of the most fun journeys we’ve ever been on. We’d love if you’d come along with us!

    Our cabin, where it all began

    Where it all began!

    Longs Peak Tee art

    Our Longs Peak tee in the works

    Betende Hande Tees

    Betende Hände tees, fresh off the press